Non-Fiction Books:

Monads, Composition, and Force

Ariadnean Threads through Leibniz's Labyrinth

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Hardback

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Monads, Composition, and Force by Richard T. W. Arthur
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Description

Leibniz's monads have long been a source of fascination and puzzlement. If monads are merely immaterial, how can they alone constitute reality? In Monads, Composition and Force, Richard T. W. Arthur takes seriously Leibniz's claim of introducing monads to solve the problem of the composition of matter and motion. Going against a trend of idealistic interpretations of Leibniz's thought, Arthur argues that although monads are presupposed as the principles making actual each of the infinite parts of matter, bodies are not composed of them. He offers a fresh interpretation of Leibniz's theory of substance in which monads are enduring primitive forces, corporeal substances are embodied monads, and bodies are aggregates of monads, not mere appearances. In this reading the monads are constitutive unities, constituting an organic unity of function through time, and bodies are phenomenal in two senses; as ever-changing things they are Platonic phenomena and as pluralities, in being perceived together, they are also Democritean phenomena. Arthur argues for this reading by describing how Leibniz's thought is grounded in seventeenth century atomism and the metaphysics of the plurality of forms, showing how his attempt to make this foundation compatible with mechanism undergirds his insightful contributions to biological science and the dynamical foundations he provides for modern physics.

Author Biography

Richard T. W. Arthur is a Professor of Philosophy at McMaster University. He specializes in early modern natural philosophy and mathematics, with special attention to Leibniz, Newton, and Descartes. He is known primarily for his work on Leibniz, on whom he has written numerous articles and two books, G. W. Leibniz: The Labyrinth of the Continuum (Yale University Press, 2001), and Leibniz (Polity Press, 2014). His research interests also include the theory of the infinite, the epistemology of science, and the theory of time, on which he is finishing a book defending the reality of becoming in modern physics.
Release date NZ
October 18th, 2018
Pages
352
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Imprint
Oxford University Press
ISBN-13
9780198812869
Product ID
28125577

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